Seems like I know the sex already, at only 4 days old

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Toddrick, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,251
    89
    138
    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    Is it possible for an untrained person like myself to distinguish sex by observation, or am I just seeing dominant hens? I kept telling my family I wouldn't know the sex until they were over 4 weeks, because these are not sex links, but I feel like I know already.

    I have one RIR, and four RIRxBO. It seems to me that the three with a dark spot on their head are probably males, although I heard this was not a reliable method of sexing. When I put my hand in the tub the two largest, fluffiest chicks--who have the darkest spots on their heads--charge my hand and peck at it. The two without spots are the only ones who are calm when I pick them up, and they are smaller, and their feet feel more delicate. (Maybe just because they don't struggle). There is one with a lighter spot that seems more calm, so I don't have as strong of opinion on him, I just assume the spot means he is a he.

    Am I reading too much into pecking order, or do they already have rooster instincts at four days old?
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    23,605
    1,314
    396
    Jul 24, 2013
    You could be right, but unfortunately, sexing chicks isn't that easy.

    Behavior is not a good indicator of gender. I've had timid roosters, and very dominant, aggressive hens. Many chicks, regardless of their gender, are rather feisty and interested in hands and other objects.
     
  3. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,015
    182
    158
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    And the larger chicks are going to be dominant until the others catch up.
     
  4. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,251
    89
    138
    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    Thanks, that is was I was hoping to hear. It would take all the fun out of it to know their sex already. The RIR is so much bigger than the rest he/she has begun bullying them pretty bad already. I can't seperate them or he goes bonkers chirping and scratching.

    interestingly, one chick has become very attached to me all the sudden. If I put it down it just stares at me, stretches its neck towards me, and then starts jumping at the wall to get to me. (I know I've spoiled it, but I do want these to be friendly). Anyways, I can hear it breath, kinda like a little weez, but not bad. Is that normal for some? I was thinking it probably just has a deviated septum kinda thing going on. These chicks have never touched the ground yet, so I shouldn't be worried about infections, right?
     
  5. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,015
    182
    158
    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    And RIRs tend to be dominant hens anyway, so that's unlikely to change.

    I'm sadly not experienced with chick medical issues. Ask about that over on the illness section cause if it is something, you want to catch it and treat it as early as possible.
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    17,023
    5,321
    501
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Absolutely!
     
  7. LanceTN

    LanceTN Chillin' With My Peeps

    189
    13
    68
    Aug 31, 2014
    All of my cockerels have developed slower then my hens, though I'm only raising one breed.

    The hens got bigger and feathered much faster. At five weeks most of my pullets look like small versions of adult hens and my cockerels are still sporting the awkward adolescent look.

    So you can't rely on size or development to indicate sex.

    However one thing you can watch is how their tail feathers develop. Cockerels will eventually have the longer more impressive tail however the pullets tend to grow theirs first.

    So watch for the chicks sporting the stubby butt longer then the rest and you may find your cockerels.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by